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bed. It gave me much uneafineis to keep you so long without it, and as fuon as I could put pen to paper, I began to translate it for you. But you will forgive blunders and corrections, and throw it into whatever form you please; it is a literal translation, upon which you may depend. Mr. Heinrich's christian names I do not know. He is minister of the parith of Reibersdorff, a very large village near Zittau in Upper Lufatia, and a worthy servant of God in the Lutheran church. Aleiter written by Mr. Niortimer's hand, and signed by two bishops of our church, in the name of the Elders' Conference of the Unity, accompanies it, and I hope all will give you fatislation.
C. J. LATROBE.
Letter from the Conference of Minifiers at Herrnhuth, to the DireEtors of tbe
Milionary Society. . Molt respected, and in our common Saviour cordially beloved brethren!
YOUR letter, addrested to the conference of Ministers, ( 50 of whom, with about 200 members of the Brethren's congregation, were this year alsembled ai Herrnhuih,) could not but excite within us the livelieit fenfations of joy, and demand our must serious confideration. We saw the power of God, our Saviour, producing events, hitherto deemed impossible by all, with admiration and praise. We stood astoni led at the taly, successful, and blated progress of the M flionary work you haci undertaken, venturing all, to follow the imall, stiil voice of the Lord. We rejoiced ac the excellent institucions made by you, and other chosen louls connected with you, towards Ipreading the Gepel, both in distant islands and remote regions, and in your own large island; which are partly established, and partiy sifing into greater petection and mulupising in every direction, and we bless God with ter's of gratitude for the succes which has attended your zealous and arcivons undertakinus, above all our expeclation, and so as to put all doubrings to fame. We most hearily wifli and pray, as we have done from the beginning, that our inexpreflibiy glorious Saviour, who purcha'ed the seven ption of tile liuman race at the expence of his life and blood, may fully accomplith his blefied views, gather in the reward of the travail of his foultrom amongst thole heathen alio to whom you are sending the gospel, and endow his chofin instruments with power, courage, and wildon for their work. Certain it is, that the whole earth hall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. If what is now doing be a beginning of that giorious work of God, we value ourselves indeed happy to be wit. nelies of it. Othat we may be comnted worthy to become helpers allo!
We, to whom your witing is addreriod, conilt of persons belonging to the Church of the Bethen), or intimately connected therewith. The former may [peak for themselves. But we are only a very small number of protestant minite s, in public office, who are al cor Gued to our several congregations, a:d have neither opportunity nor permillion to labour in behalt of oiliers, not belonging to our parishes, unleis perhaps by nieans of the press.
Formerly many worthy ministers of our church had doubts about forming a cordial connection with the Bre:hren, not knowing thein, and even avoiding the way to become acquainted with this people of God from various fcruples ; but after they unde ventured to know thein, their
prejudices prejudices vanifhed more and more, and the number of min: 4ers, who haté been excited to teek the followinin of the Biethien, has increased from time to time. The Conference of Miniters, nuw reid tor torty-five years at Herrnhuth, has been an excellent opportunty tor promoting this union. Well dispused parih miniers in the righocurhood as i kiwite lome froin a confiderable distance, weinble yearly, on the Wednesday after renly Suoday, in that piece, and conve te toge her, tur one wiecle day, in a friendly and uletur marns, in presence of miny niem' eis oi the B cthren's Congregation, one of wiiom is always aproicted president. Thu's number has encreased from 5 10 63. The conserturien is tamdiar, and relating to their office as munisters; and the fubjiets are furnished, partiy it. m writings deivered in, partly from letters rrceived; but our reforstions are chicsy confined to our marking such means as have by expirience bien i und aus vantageous towards pri inoting the ka wledgcof faivation in the congrega. tions committed to our care, and eft blithing obe iience to the taith of Christ. As to practice, tvery one acts according to the measure of thai gifi, which he has received tremi G d cither natura ly or by grace. But we do not like to speak much in public of what each has done in his congregation. Each fows and reaps by nine.f, Sevuras varieties are therefore obiervab.e in our congregationis. Except in luch congreg 1t'ons, in which the news. tangled doctines pievii, which can re taid but if very few in Upper LuSatia, especially abcut Herrnhuth, we find in our refpect ve parishes a greater or fmailer number of awakened fouls, and ainong these, in some more, in other's It's ipiirual communion, and no: much encouragement to gain more for the Lord, but what is given by ine pub.ic or private ministry of the word by the panih miniter. The following particulars however deserve norice, as having a rifercnce to the gaining of louls for Chrift, or the care and leading of such as are gained:
1. Our connexion with me Brethren's Congregation. The Brethren have always paid particular attention to the awak ne's people of every deno. mination, they have b.en ready to ferve as teachers with their beit insight and experience, and therehy given to the labours or many a one a proper di. rection, and led many a p. or soul, concerned for his lu.viition, in o the pro. per track. At present there are lew teachers, an.leven hearers, in the par, thes iminediately turrounding Herrnhuth or other fe:temenis of the Bretaren, who have not by the sweet.fineiling iavour of the Goldel i aught there, been directed to Chrnt and his atonement as the chief obiet of faith. And it happens even, thar a minister, who has nothing of the divine lite in himielf, confider3 it huwever as an honour, or something cnucive to his gooiie. putation, to pretend to an acquaintance with the Biethren, and to friend. inip with those conn Eted with them. We are therefore never proud of nuinbers attending our yearly conference. Yet, a teaciver, who enjoys the fellowship of the Brethren, has one obitacle leis, and one advantage more, in endeavouring to gain fouls for Christ.
2. Our connexion with the German Pociety. (Teutfche Gesellschaif) This fociety has long ago given the puhiis a printed account of its origua and views. It contains the fo called Pietimus, which began with the commencement of this century and has con suid ever since, or the uniou of the pious people in the protettant churches to promote ip riliai telowhip. It has its entre at Bille, but there are particular fi cities in Austria, ai Nureinburg. Allburg, Strburg, Wernigerodi, Exit ifrifia, H.nburg, Magdeburg, Prenzlow, Berlin, Brellaw, Drefden, and other places, caci having its pa tichiar Iphere of action, its monthly meeting and its correspondent, who reports ticis molt important procechings to Bulle. Here minutes of
them are drawn up, and sent to each particular society, by which the society at large becomes acquainted with its on fituarion and all occur. rences of consequence. For many years, there iwo societies kept at a dia Itance from each other; the one appearing to act too legally, and the other too evangelically; but for some time past this reserve has ceased under the cross of Jelus, towards which all fouls, loving his cault, are verging, as to one common centre, since the prelent general apostacy in the church; at least, it has greatly diminished. One Tociely now (perks of the other with esteem, and they rejoice in tach others prosperity, without interfering with éach others labours. Such who have either no opportunity or no inclina. iion to join the Brethren, unite theinselves with the German society, or remain unconnected with either. This is likewise the case with some pious people in the Roman Catholic persuasion. I, and some more of us; ale members of both societies.
3. The private inititution of Mr. Von Schirnding. This pious and active nobleman, who lives at Dobrilugk, in Lower Lufatia, foels himself disposed to get all kinds of ejitying tracts printed at his own expence, and distributed by pious peopic throughout many countries, by being sold or even given away in Lusatia, Saxony, Silefia, Poland, and the Empire; and not only thus Towing good leed, but by means of the saine people who carry them about, and are under the inspection of certain confidential ministers, leeking and encouraging such souls as áre concerned for their falva. tion. But as this inftitution depends upon the list and Gituation of one man, and upon the disinterested views of the distributors, who frequently turn out to be insincere, or by degrees become so, mucha dependance cannot be placed upon it.
4. The minilters who assemble at the conference at Herrnhuth have in conversation refolved to print a short treatise now and then, the contents of which are meant to be suited to the exigency of the times, and to have the approbation of the Brethren. It is intended first to be coinmunicated to their leveral parishes, and then to be offered to others as the least possible price, with a view to operate against the newly adopied infidel ideas, which have spread with such rapidity. A lmall beginning bas been made, and the third number, under the title, AWord to the Heart and E.-r of those Persons who yet wish to be Chriflians, is ready for the preis. It will depend upon the leadings of Providence, whether and how long this undertaking will continue.
Thus much, respected Brethren, we have been able to communicate to you, in our poveiny, in answer to your engarie". May our Al. mighiy Saviour, for whoin and agailt woon all forces row secin uniting, and whose cause seems to be a proibido icwards a decisive conflict, glorify himself by means of the great vi siding cumarted in your bands; may He be to you an all-fufficient support, 7210 C ourvlil nu ies pera levering courage and never-failing strength, alithothole w nailtain your inititutions by their subttance, the faine sicii inaire or divine blellings ; and may chole cholen fouls, thole firstlings of tifior. Cui ne v brethren in the faith of Christ, find much mercy with it in. We all, both our worthy prelident, Bishop Reichel, and the whole company, beg that you would continue tu favour us with voui luring reine inance, and your most valuable fellowship of Ipirit in Christ Jüriis, in who'n we re nain,
Your faithtul Bretiren, grounded on his
and in their name, "REIBERSDORF near ZITTAU,
J. D. HEINRICH, September 12th, 1799.
MINISTER VOL. VII,
TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY
WE cannot transinit to you the enclosed, the answer of the Minister's Conference to your kind and animated letter to them, without saluring you also in the bonds of brotherly love; truly rejoicing at every opportunity to realize one of the leading principles of the Brethren's conftitution, an. nounced from the beginning, to be in union of heart " with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." It gladdens our hearts, that this principle is every day gaining more ground among the servants and children of God in England, and the blesed effects of it have already pervaded a great part of the continent. You and your brethren formerly knowing but little of one another at home, you were much less known abroad; but when your coals united, a spreading fire of the Lord was kindled, and we have counted it our pri. vilege to minister unto the flame, by zealously circulating your first transa&tions, and now promoting the publication of a second volume.
We, the Elders Conference of the Unity, feel ourselves particularly united to you, as we are engaged in the same holy warfare, to destroy the Itrong holds of Satan among the heathen, and to win their souls to Christ. He has been graciously pleased to bless our endeavours; and several of us have been eye-witnesses of it. We have seen the powerful effects of the Gospel among the most benighted nations, we have baptized them into the death of Jesus, and have divided his broken body and the blessed cup of his blood with them. We doubt not but he will bless your exertions allo, though it has already pleased him to exercise your faith and patience with the inoft cutting trials. We are not yet informed of the particulars of your late dis. afters, but were most deeply affected, when we heard of the Duff's being captured by the enemy, and of the catastrophe in Otaheite, by which we are apprehenfive some valuable lives have been loft. It affords us, however, Some comfort, to find, by the perusal of your missionary Sermons, that your minds are prepared for such events, being well aware, that it is no unproe mising afpe&t for the church of Christ, when the blood of martyrs is thed for his fake. We have likewise suffered severe disappointinents, and lives too have been lost; but he strengthened our faith, enabled us to persevere, and in his due time crowned our endeavours with success.
Not only for our own information, but because much enquiry is made froma all quarters, with the most tender sympathy, we beg of you to give us through the hands of our brother Latrobe, all intelligence you have conceining those painfulevents, especially if any thing has been printed; being not only defirous to know the facts themselves, but particularly how the minds of the society have been affected by them, and heartily wishing to glorify God, in viewing your undaunted resolution to persevere, though, perhaps, Otaheite will be for sometime inaccessible. There are Heathens enough under the awe of civilized governments, who would protect your Millionarics, especialiy when women and children are to be considered. • To turn to a more pleasing object, our hearts are much refreshed at fee. ing the Missionary spirit diffusing itself for the benefit of the uvenlightened parts of your own country. You afk in your letter to the Minuters' Conference, what means are used by the lovers of the Goipel in these parts to give it the most universal fpread? To this we of the Brethren's Church Answer, that we know by the experience of upwards of to years, that con. dern for the heathen at home, is inseparable from concern for the heathen abroad; and you feeling both impulses at once is to us the most convincing proof, that you are engaged in a work of God. We bave had from the beginning institutions very much resembling what you call itinerancy. In many provinces of Germany, in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Livonia, ane Switzerland, there are labourers appointed, whore business it is constantld to make a tour through their districts, visiting in houses, and, if it can by done with fafety, kecping meetings with the people. But you are aware, that by means of your happy constitution, you enjoy much more liberty in England for this purpose than we can pretend to in other countries. Boldly building a Gospel chapel in the face of a Socinian parish minister is to be practised no where but in England. Where we have regular meeting, houses, e. g. in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Konigsberg, Petersburg, &c. we have acquired them by application to Government, at the hazard of meering with a refusal,
You mention the circularing of small tracts as a very good means to promote the knowledge of Christ. We are quite of your mind, and have not neglected this service. It was much the subje&t of conversation in the last Ministers' Conference, and as the minutes will be read in manuscript very extensively in almost all Protestant countries of Europe, we do not doubi, but the impression will be general. It was by means of this conference that your society was first made known in Gerinany, and when the printed volume was published, all minds were well prepared to demnand it eagerly, so that a second edition was foon found necessary.
The minutes of the annual Ministers' Conference are only in part of a manuscript journal, which we call congrégation accounts, which took its beginning about the year 1739, and has been continued ever since. All our congregations are provided with a copy, and in many provinces there are associations to have a copy for themfelves. It is read publicly in all our chapels at stated times, and belides by many privately; so that we may affirın, that though it is not printed, it has the most extensive circula. Jation of any.journal exifting, except perhaps your Evangelica! Magazine, which it much resembles; and it has belides this fingularity, that it is regularly translated into several languages, for instance, into English. Its contents are the journals of our Millions, the reports of our itinerant labourers, remarkable occurrences in our Congregations, Obituaries, and public discourses taken down in short-band. By incans of this inftirution, under the blessing of God, the Missionary spirit has been kept up among us, and we have not been under the necessity of giving up any Mission for want of labourers.
Since the year 1789, extracts out of this journal have been printed in English, under the title of “ Periodical accounts relating to the Breihren's Millions among the heathen;" and we are glad to hear, that they have been inftrumental to excite more fully your attention to this importani objcct. Besides this, our itinerant labours have been much aslifted by this journal; particularly by the discourses, in furnithog illiteraie people with fomething profitable to read in their meetings, intiead of preaching fermons vi their own, for which they are not always qual her.
As you desired to know, by what means we chiedy endeavour to promote Evangelical Centiments, and we are perfuaded, that this manuscript journal is one of our principal means, we telicve that this account of i: will not be disagreeable to you. We are delighte i to find, that your Eva perical Magazine bas had similar effects; and in the last Minitters' Conferenc proposals came from two quarters, to begin a printed magazine for Ger.
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